Systems thinking practitioner (level 7)
Support decision-makers in strategic and leadership roles to understand and address complex and sometimes even ‘wicked’ problems through provision of expert systemic analysis, advice and facilitation.
- Qualification level
Equivalent to master’s degree.
- Typical duration
- 30 months
- Apprenticeship category
- Business and administration
- Maximum funding
Maximum amount government will fund
for apprenticeship training.
- Also known as
- System Change Lead
- Systemic Designer
- Systems Thinking Practitioner
- Transformation Lead
Skills an apprentice will learn
- Applying systems knowledge • Applies systems laws, concepts and systems thinking approaches in real world situations, either applied directly, or to support systems methodologies.
- Approach designs • Recognises the nature of complexity most relevant to the situation of interest, and selects one or more appropriate approaches from the range of systems methods or methodologies. Undertakes these across a variety of domains or sectors. • Defines the system of interest, its boundaries, stakeholders and context. Recognises the benefits or limitations of an approach; combines or adapts approaches where needed.
- Systems modelling • Develops conceptual models of a variety of systems, real world situations and scenarios to provide insights into current or future challenges. • Uses a range of systems models to: explore boundaries and cause and effect, map interconnections and feedback loops, distinguish between differing worldviews or perspectives, and identify patterns, anomalies and emergent properties. Switches between these skills to achieve insight. • Uses models to explore, develop and test a range of possible interventions relevant to the situation of interest, to establish both short and long-term consequences of potential actions, and to reduce unintended consequences.
- Interpretation • Presents systems models, insights and intervention contributions in a way that is understandable in the real world.
- Engagement and collaboration • Applies techniques to identify stakeholders and to build and sustain effective relationships with them. Seeks out and engages with marginalised viewpoints; counters the dynamics of marginalisation. • Collaborates with and influences diverse stakeholders, colleagues and clients, identifying and adapting engagement and communication styles. • Works effectively as part of multi-disciplinary groups which have divergent or conflicting world views. • Designs, builds and manages groups to define the desired outcomes and achieve them. Uses tools and techniques to: maximise effective dialogue, to develop a shared understanding of the problem situation and to make decisions.
- Inquiry, information gathering and analysis • Applies a range of inquiry techniques to gather quantitative and qualitative information, including inputs, transformations, outputs and outcomes. Defines and designs hard and soft measures. • Applies a range of questioning and listening techniques to enquire with stakeholders, and to adapt approaches in real time. • Uncovers hidden or unstated assumptions, to evaluate stated assumptions, and to constructively challenge these where appropriate. • Selects, elicits, manages and interprets appropriate types of data, information and statistics for model building, making the trade-off between value, cost and timeliness. • Weighs balance of evidence; identifies gaps, contradictions, uncertainties and anomalies in data, information and any other evidence.
- Intervention design • Designs an appropriate intervention strategy for the system of interest, recognising relevant issues.
- Change implementation • Plans, designs and leads interventions to achieve benefits and learning, based on sound understanding of a range of change methodologies and techniques. • Uses facilitative processes empathetically to engage stakeholders in change processes and decision-making. • Adapts plans in response to new data and insights, perspectives and learning.
- Developing self • Applies techniques for structured personal reflexive practice, to monitor and develop knowledge, skills and self-awareness.
- Leading, communicating and influencing • Educates and influences stakeholders to participate effectively in challenging and ambiguous situations, including managing confrontation and conflict constructively. • Creates effective teams. Orients intervention teams to the organisational / social / political and cultural context. Leverages strengths and develops alliances. • Translates systems models and representations into comprehensible language for stakeholders; adapt communication method to audience. • Explains the benefits, principles and skills of systems approaches to stakeholders and participants in an intervention in order to guide them through a systems intervention.
- Assessment and evaluation • Develops and implements suitable monitoring and evaluation criteria and mechanisms, aware of the influence that different system methods can have in situations.
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